Scottish Americans in Early San Benito


The Robertson Family

by Rev. Ed. Robertson


Humphrey & Jean Robertson lived on a farm named Brandleside near the village of Dunlop in Ayr south of Glasgow. They had 7 sons and 2 daughters. James, 7th child, was born there December 3, 1816.

At 19 years of age James emigrated from Scotland and sailed to Pennsylvania, United States. The ship landed June 2, 1836. On the ship's manifest he was listed as a farmer. Probably he was also a tanner.

James married Anne Dale October 9, 1845 in Maury County Tennessee. The couple moved to Phillips County and then to Lee County were James operated a country store. They had 8 children. James died in 1898.

Edward Dale (6th child) was born October 21, 1855 at Mt. Pleasant, Tennessee. He died in 1950. He married Ethel Beard in 1881. The couple had 6 sons and 2 daughters. Hugh (3rd) was born November 10, 1892 in Mariana Arkansas. He died on February 1, 1966. Hugh married Josephine Crow August 14, 1925 in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.

Their two children, Josephine Ann and Edward Dale, were born there. Hugh was called in 1930 to be pastor of First Presbyterian Church, San Benito and served until 1944.

My recollections from childhood: Dad often reminded us of our Socttish ancestry and sometimes in his sermons quoted poems of Robert Burns. However, we did not continue any Scottish customs in the home. Mother's background was English. She never prepared haggis(that distinctive Scottish dish.) We ate porridge (oatmeal) often, but so did many other fold.

The only other folk of Scottish origin we know were the Bowie clan. We knew them all, but I never remember any Scottish gatherings with their families. We were proud to be Scottish. That was the sum of the matter.

When Joyce and I went to Scotland in 1952 we visited my great-grandfather's farm, looked up family records in the kirk, and learned Scottish history and customs. When we returned to Texas we passed this information on to our relatives. Mother and Dad and probably 20 of the Robertsons made the trip to Scotland and visited the old farm, Brandleside.